NOTHING is IMpossible

On the twenty seventh of August 2008, prime minister Balkenende of The Netherlands delivered a speech to celebrate the Dutch Olympic medal winners.

He started his speech with the words “NOTHING is IMpossible“, since that had been the motto for the team that was sent to Beijing and came back with 16 medals, including 7 gold ones. Not bad for such a small country

He addressed all winners individually and thanked everyone of them on behalf of the country.

There was however some extra attention for one man in specific.

A swimmer. A fanatic. A man who, according to his parents, as a little boy measured out any distance as a race track and ran between those points to beat his best time. Which showed his…

Passion. Purpose. Persistence!

NOTHING is IMpossible with Passion. Purpose. Persistence! - Click here for details

In his youth, he was a promising swimming talent and finally became Dutch national champion at the 400 and 1500 m freestyle from 1998 to 2000 and 5 km open water (2000). He also participated at the 1999 European Junior Championships and the 2000 Open Water World Championships. Thanks to all his…

Passion. Purpose. Persistence.

When suddenly on March 12th 2001…

…he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia.

Not only his career came to an end, at one stage he was not expected to survive. Suddenly he had to fight another opponent, a severe one this time. Threatening his life.

But he won.
This time after he had a stem cell transplant. And, of course, thanks to a lot of…

Passion. Purpose. Persistence.

And what’s even more, he won another three Dutch titles. And on top of that, he won the 25 km at the 2008 World Championships in Seville.

And now, at the Olympics in Beijing, he ended up winning the gold medal at the 10 km open water marathon race.

The Dutch had never heard of him before, but he managed to make an unforgettable impression. He will be remembered, not only for his medal, but for winning the other fight too. Thanks to his…

Passion. Purpose. Persistence.

His name? Maarten van der Weijden.

He has updated his site to (better now).

Still, the story is remarkable. It’s inspiring for people all over the world. It proves again that Passion, Purpose and Persistence are the right ingredients for this motto:


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One thought on “NOTHING is IMpossible

  1. This is a great speech and a great story and a fantastic man!

    And that’s what I mean he is just a fantastic human being.

    I am an Internet marketer (reasonably successful, but I’m also a professional musician. I teach. And I can tell you, that if the person loves music but doesn’t have musical gifts, it could be a tragedy. Passion, purpose and persistence could be enormous, but still not produce any result. It can drive this unfortunate person crazy – with all determination and years of work he still can’t play – and it ruins his life.

    I also have a masters degree in physics and the same happens in science too.

    And in politics – as we all know!

    Alexei Zoubov

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